Posted by Patricia Jones
How CRM impacts teams productivity, a conceptual study of the modern way to manage your business. It is famously said that the concept of cubicle was started to ensure that the members of the same department sat together and had better collaboration and communication. But now in the digital age, does this cubicle system suffices the collaboration needs?
Not necessarily. Any organization (irrespective of its size and industry) will agree to the fact that today making a team sit together does not result into effective internal collaboration. It certainly takes a lot more than that. In fact, even regular email communication within the team is not enough to keep everyone combined on a single task.
So what calls for the ideal remedy?
While the abbreviation strictly stands for customer relationship management that means only managing company-customer relationships, surprisingly this definition of CRM has gone for a toss.
That is because the new age cloud CRM applications are definitely much more than only handling customer relationships. While these CRMs have not left their old territory of managing customer communications, they have extended their functionality and brought in the management of company’s internal communications too.
Now they have in-built tools and functionalities to help organizations foster better internal collaboration and communication.
Not clear of how does this happen? Go through the pointers below to see yourself how CRM functions as a collaboration software and helps a business in amplifying the collaboration levels within the teams.
An element that often impedes good collaboration is when all team members are not aware of the exact status of the project. Insufficient/irregular data transmission leads to complications and birth of insecurities and ego clashes.
To put all this at bay, CRMs have project management module that let businesses define the projects with their corresponding details, namely – Milestones, Tasks, Sub tasks, Time-sheets, Billing and Deadline. Hence, what team members get is a clear presentation of the projects’ step-by-step flow. As and when the activities get accomplished, updates happen in the CRM, and the remaining team members (whenever required) view the present status of the project which is – what’s done, what’s in progress, and what’s left to do.
This puts the entire team at one page and ensures that vices like miscommunication or misinformation do not occur within the team to obstruct the project accomplishment.
So Tim is supposed to accomplish the first phase of the project which is the knowledge gathering process. But when Tim calls up the client to schedule the meeting for the knowledge gathering session, he is in for a shock – knowledge gathering has already been done by one of his team members Jane, two days back.
Projects usually involve a bunch of tasks that needs to get fairly distributed within the team members. Manually assigning responsibilities often leads to confusion within the team (similar to what we cited above).
Hence, it is important to assign tasks to team members, keeping everyone else aware of it in the rightful manner. And this is precisely what CRM helps in doing. Within the project workflow in the CRM, team members can be linked to the tasks, sub-tasks and activities. This can make it easy for the team to view the project modus operandi and simultaneously know which people are working on what tasks of the project. Any change in the task assignment is broadcasted to all individuals (who are working on the project) in the form of feeds and notifications.
Working with standalone document management applications results into two major disadvantages:
You can’t ensure that everyone in the team is using the updated version of the documents
You can’t control who has access to what documents according to their role in the team.
However with a CRM there is a firm control over both these two situations. The current new-age CRMs have in-built library module that makes document management easy and simple. Instead of storing and searching documents in computers, mailbox and other places, the teams store, manage and access project-specific collaterals, materials, proposals and more, right within the CRM repository.
Not to forget, that with the cloud functionality in the CRM, there is the added convenience of accessing the documents from the CRM from possibly any location and time through any type of internet-enabled device. This gives a whole lot of convenience to the team members who can access docs whenever they need to (based on set role-based permissions).
It often happens that members within the same team do not have a unified view on the different dates assigned for the project tasks. Inevitably, this results into double-booking that creates chaos and panic within the team. To ensure that everyone in the team follows the same time table – CRMs provide the calendar functionality.
Team members can pull everything into the CRM calendar for quick reference by themselves and the other members.
Collectively using the CRM calendar keeps everyone on the same page in relation to deadlines and task priorities. And just to make things even better and efficient, most CRMs offer smooth synchronization with Google Calendar which means that all the Google Calendar activities also get marked and seen in the CRM calendar. In short – no data discrepancy.
Patricia is a full time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and market expert in CRM software. In the last five year she has worked with various companies as CRM consultant to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud CRM consultation, CRM customization and integration solutions to small enterprises. For last one she is engaged in building ConvergeHub, cloud-based CRM solution for SMBs, as a consultant.Follow her at Twitter: @convergehub